Kenyan politician Martha Karua has been compared to Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones.

Two weeks before Kenya votes for a new president, online bookseller and blogger William Magunga has caused wild excitement by comparing Kenyan politicians to Game of Thrones characters on Facebook. The photo series is titled “Game of Thrones in Kenya.” The characters compared include Cersei Lannister, Ned Stark, Little Finger, Tywin Lannister, Robert Baratheon, Brienne of Tarth, Tommen Baratheon, Olenna Tyrell, Stannis Baratheon, and Aerys Targaryen.

William Magunga.

This isn’t the first time Magunga is causing us excitement. Last year, The New Yorker profiled his bookstore, The Magunga Bookstore, which is modeled on the Guardian’s online bookstore. But even before that, in 2014, we published his beautiful story of an artist in Nairobi.

Kenya will be voting on 8 August and recently had a presidential debate. See all the characters and the politicians they’ve been matched with, and a little highlighting of their shared character.

Ned Stark – Tom Mboya

(Poor thing. Too honourable to a fault. Could not play the Game of Thrones. Loved, gone, but not forgotten).

Little Finger – William Ruto

(A nobody who became somebody through sheer manipulation. Also, greed for land. Now very powerful at the top).

Tywin – Biwott

(R U T H L E S S N E S S).

Robert Baratheon – Kibaki

(Removes the Mad King from the Iron Throne).

Brienne of Tarth – Martha Karua

(Stong. Extremely loyal. Unwavering is a predominantly male space. Men cower in her presence. When battle comes, you want her fighting for you).

Tommen – Uhuru

(Last born child given the throne. Did not really want it, but oh well. Unable to govern. Nice at heart but adviced by evil men and women).

Olenna Tyrell – Mama Ngina

(Very powerful. Extremely Rich. No mercy).

Stannis – Raila

(Fought so hard but the throne is elusive).

Cersei – Lucy Baks

(The Mad Queen).

Moi – Aerys

(The Mad King).

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young’s writing has been shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award, and nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in Transition (“A Tenderer Blessing,” 2015), The Threepenny Review (“Mulumba,” 2016), and Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality (“You Sing of a Longing,” 2017), an anthology of The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His work further appears in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays, Africa in Dialogue, and Brittle Paper, where he is submissions editor. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series: a sequence of concept-based e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness. The first anthology, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (Oct., 2016) focuses on cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June, 2017) focuses on professions. He attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and currently teaches English at another Nigerian university. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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